Monday Night Open Thread: This and That

I have seen zero news today and just got home -- our last open thread is about full, so here's a new one while I catch up.

First catch up: Donald Trump took a "public swipe" against AG Jefferson Sessions
. Is it time to start the Sessions countdown clock? I see Ted Cruz' name being tossed around as a possible replacement. We'd go right from the frying pan into the fire. While Sessions is ultra-conservative in his views, I don't think he's a liar. As for Ted Cruz, I don't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. Plus he looks like the grim reaper.

Jared seems to have gotten a pass today playing the innocent mistake and bumbling neophyte cards at his closed door hearing. No links due to auto-play video on every article I checked.

On a lighter note, this GQ article on spin classes at the gym may be the funniest article on exercise I've ever read. By the time I got to the end, I was laughing out loud.

Last but not least, James Corden is finally back tonight on the Late Late show after a three week absence. James, you were missed. Congrats are also in order for James and his wife -- they are expecting their third child.

Also, I like that James and T.J. Miller are complimenting each other comedic skills -- both are in the new Emoji movie. I drove T.J. to school for years on my carpool day. He was funny even then. As for his parents not speaking to him because of the Emoji movie, I'm pretty sure that's a joke, he has incredibly supportive parents. Who throw great parties. I would have liked to grow up in that household.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Jefferson Sessions vs. Sergey Kislyak: Whom to Believe?
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    So today, Der Trumpenführer traveled to ... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 09:46:38 PM EST
    ... Beaver, WV to address the attendees at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, and despite promising the Boy Scouts of America that his speech wouldn't be political -- well, hey, what's one more broken promise at this point, right?

    "Who the hell wants to talk about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts?"
    - President Donald Trump, to the attendees at the BSA's 2017 National Scout Jamboree (July 24, 2017)

    For Heaven's sake, why does this bubble-headed bleached blond have to make everything about him? I swear, the guy's political insecurity reeks so bad, the stench could knock a hungry buzzard off a three-day-old buffalo carcass.

    By the Boy Scouts of America's own rules, its members are expressly prohibited from attending political events while in uniform, and yet that's exactly what Trump turned the Jamboree into with his provocative and polarizing statements.

    Sadly, the organization's leadership now finds itself in the uncomfortable position of having to formally disavow POTUS if they are to ever restore the BSA's often-battered institutional credibility, and otherwise avoid the now-inevitable comparisons to Die Hitlerjugend.


    Die Hitlerjugend (none / 0) (#4)
    by linea on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 10:21:44 PM EST
    that's really bad!!

    i actually dont understand the BSA. but i do have the impression that it is more popular and active in the more conservative states.

    i read (i think on wiki) that the BSA have a congressional charter. but i dont understand the politics of it. why doesnt the american democratic party have a youth wing?

    p.s. thank you for correctly using blond/blonde in english.


    The national leader of BSA (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:08:22 PM EST
    is Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T.  I expect a mild rejoinder since AT&T is in the midst of a merger with Time Warner.  But, maybe, somewhere in the BSA bylaws, is the capability at the local levels to impeach Trump--the honorary president of BSA.  This would be a good civics lesson and decency counter-point to the bilious speech to the scouts, including that Trumpian role model  cited who is rich, has orgies on a yacht, and, like Trump, is a serial husband.

    My forehead just can't take anymore damage. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 08:11:57 AM EST
    I get to work, scan through the news, and my head hits the desk. Harder each day. How long can this go on? How can there not be open rebellion by now? Has there ever been a more dysfunctional in the history of this country? Banana republics in Central America get more respect the clown occupying the White House.

    There are quite a few of us (none / 0) (#16)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 08:45:20 AM EST
    walking around with these bruised, red lumps on our foreheads...

    Maybe this will help - someone sent it to me yesterday, and it was good for a laugh.


    The New Normal... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:50:51 AM EST
    Y'all remember the drivers manual you got to prepare from your drivers license written and road tests?  What do at a railroad crossing, right of way, all that jazz...well, the new Arizona Driver's Manual has a "don't get shot by the police" section.  I sh*t you not!

    I guess it's a good idea, but damn it's depressing...

    Rachel was warning (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 09:15:20 PM EST
    About a recess appointment to replace Sessions.

    She is a bit of an alarmist sometimes but I suppose it can't be considered impossible

    WaPo (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 09:24:06 PM EST
    3 hours ago

    Another scenario is that Trump could make a recess appointment, said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law. Under that plan, Trump could choose an attorney general during the August recess who would serve until the end of the next Senate session, which could be early January 2019. That person would have the same authority as someone who is confirmed by the Senate, Vladeck said.

    Why replace him? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 05:07:51 AM EST
    What does Trump gain? Does he think a new AG can shut Mueller down? Or does he need someone to kick?

    He just needs (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 06:47:22 AM EST
    someone to kick I have decided. With all this news of Trump wanting to fire Mueller I would think Mueller has prepared for that. I'm willing to bet everybody in the special counsel office is aware of the status of the investigation and even without Mueller it will continue should it come to that.

    However the fool does not realize that every firing he does is another count of obstruction of justice that can be levied against him.


    Yes (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:32:12 AM EST
    The Attorney General (but not Sessions) could fire Mueller. So if Trump dismisses Sessions, expect the first act of the new AG (who could be installed during the August recess)to be the firing of Mueller.

    With a new AG, the decision would leave the hands of Deputy AG Rosenstein and revert back to the newest AG who in no way will recuse if he/she accepts the job.



    spin class (none / 0) (#5)
    by linea on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 11:19:23 PM EST
    the article is funny!!

    it's a humorous male perspective because it is a GQ (Gentlman's Quarterly) article. my favorite is, 'I have never climbed a mountain this big. There are no mountains this big.'

    i've never done spin class.

    i had to google pitbull to understand the reference is to a music band that plays really bad music (in my opinion).

    thanks, it is GQ (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:47:48 AM EST
    rather than Esquire as I initially wrote. Glad I'm not the only person who thought it was funny, and I didn't know who Pitbull was either.

    my favorites were (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:57:10 AM EST
    32.    Stop yelling about how I feel good. I don't feel good. I want to die. Why don't you play a song about wanting to die? I'm sure Pitbull has one of those.


    34.    It's going to be pretty cool when I have zero upper body definition but the legs of Hercules. The tailor will be fascinated.

    Musical tastes are entirely subjective. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 03:20:51 AM EST
    My younger daughter likes Pitbull. As for myself, I think I'd rather listen to someone operating a leafblower outside my bedroom window at 1:00 a.m.

    But I would never characterize artistic output or expression which I otherwise don't particularly care for, as somehow "lousy" or "really bad." I grew up with older folks who never missed an opportunity to denigrate and demean my own particular tastes in music and art, and I swore that I'd never do the same to the kids today.

    We don't have to like the music that the kids like. But we ought to at least respect the fact that they like it, and not seek to diminish them for it. When they get older, they'll likely outgrow their pop culture tastes, much as we did our own.

    Well, okay, sometimes we don't. ;-D


    Why is Trump trying to force Sessions out? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 05:06:01 AM EST
    What is Trump's gain in doing that?

    The idea seems to be that a new AG (none / 0) (#12)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 07:03:12 AM EST
    could shut down the Russia investigation by firing Mueller.

    And now the utterly vile Ted Cruz is being floated as a Sessions replacement.  Ted Cruz.  Ugh.

    And Chris Christie is somewhere jumping up and down and shouting, "pick me! pick me!"

    I don't think any of these people will be nominated, although Trump could make a recess appointment that wouldn't require confirmation.

    Trump's obsession with loyalty is disturbing, but not surprising - he really does not understand the separate but equal branches of government or the Constitution, and all of this makes him dangerous.

    And so far, there doesn't seem to be anyone, or any group, that can stop him.  If he starts making appearances in a fake military uniform with lots of fake medals and gold braid, it may be time to explore other living arrangements.


    the recess appointment thing (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 07:58:17 AM EST
    is very troubling.  no one much seems to think this is possible but "possible" seems to to have a pretty low bar just lately.

    Christie would have to recuse himself for the same reason Sessions did.  i think he has said Sessions did the right thing.  as did Rudy.

    that leaves Ted.  who seems like the dream pick from Trumps point of view.  probably the only person in government as craven and evil as Trump.
    a literal Wormtounge for the presidential ear.

    i love my new house.  i would really hate to sell it but, yeah, new living arrangments.


    But Howdy, where would you go? (none / 0) (#17)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 08:47:19 AM EST
    They don't like us at all in other parts of the world.  I still have 15 acres in the mountains of Oregon that my grandparents Homesteaded in the early 1900's.  We could re-homestead it, look for Federal grants, and grow mm for the needy citizens.  We would be surrounded by Republican loggers, but we will have goods to trade.  Go Ducks.

    dont f-ing tease me fish (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:46:03 AM EST
    we have been through this

    Canada (none / 0) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:06:18 AM EST
    Who takes such a recess appointment? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:36:03 AM EST
    Anyone taking the job would be an instant villain in the eyes of a majority of Americans.

    Trump is so desperate right now. Why? We the little people don't have evidence of full Russian collusion but it must exist. Mueller must already have it.


    yupp (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:47:11 AM EST
    Cruz is already a villian.  trust me.  he would take it in a heartbeat.

    No Republican Senators answering (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:56:22 AM EST
    Their office phones today.

    Can't see it being Cruz (none / 0) (#20)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:39:01 AM EST
    Even Trump must know that Cruz is a lying and conniving bastard that is loyal to no one but himself and would likely give Mueller a bonus for taking out Trump.

    Yeah, I'm not so (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:42:48 AM EST
    sure Cruz would do the bidding of Trump. He's in love with evil revenge as much as Trump is and Trump has given Cruz plenty of ammunition to be motivated for revenge.

    Can you see the hearings now? Sen. Cruz how did you feel when Trump called your wife ugly? Sen. Cruz what did you think when Trump said your father assassinated JFK? After all a recess appointment is only temporary I understand and will have to go through confirmation.


    Temporary (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:46:11 AM EST
    but it would last for 17 months before expiring without a Senate confirmation.

    exactly (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:47:52 AM EST
    But Cruz gives up his Senate seat (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:20:26 AM EST
    Just as Sessions did, in order to serve a President who can't be trusted? As the Republican party destroys itself, the only possible thing that could politically save you is incumbency.

    Cruz is despised in the senate (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:31:55 AM EST
    he has done nothing there.  he has passed nothing.  IMO he always saw it as a stepping stone.

    he would sell his family into slavery to be AG.  IMO of course.


    He's such a snake (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    I can't tell what is important to him. Trump is really full of himself though yesterday and today. It's like he doubled his viagra.

    Rumors that there is supposed to be a 3 pm Trump press moment.


    The (none / 0) (#37)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:47:39 AM EST
    problem being that tRump would be willing to throw him overboard the minute he lost his usefulness or failed to show sufficient loyalty. I think Cruz is smart enough to realize he could end up with nothing and his political future crippled by being seen as both a toady and an enemy to the dear leader.

    One hopes (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:59:36 AM EST
    But then we have others who took Trump jobs when the writing was clear. Tillerson? McMaster?

    McCain is flying in to vote? If McCain isn't flying in to destroy Trumpcare, it is an epic betrayal of the people. If he doesn't use his final breaths to channel Ted Kennedy and scream, he's using his dying breath to harm us all.


    Yes, if the route (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:46:24 AM EST
    Trump takes is to replace (a given) Sessions with an Acting AG (likely in any event, since confirmation hearings would be dangerous to Trump), that Acting AG would be an apparatchik, who would take the deserved infamy all the way to the bank.  

    Someone like the Mooch (a Harvard Law graduate) or, of course, someone like Joe Lieberman.  Just do the nasty deed, and move on to right wing media glory and riches.

    It will be disheartening to see a standing tribute to McCain on his return to the senate during a risky interregnum between brain clot/brain tumor surgery and radiation/oncology treatment, so as to vote to proceed to take health insurance away from 22 million to 32 million Americans.

      Of course, best wishes should be extended as he undergoes the best treatments and receives the best care available, but his return so as overturn  and undermine health care for tens of millions of others is grotesque.


    McCain (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:50:46 PM EST
    is returning to support the "MTP".  motion to proceed.  absolutely consistent for him.  

    I hope McCain has had some time (none / 0) (#53)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:51:37 PM EST
    to reflect on the great good fortune of having superior insurance coverage as he faces what may be the last great challenge of his life, and makes the principled decision to call BS on many of his colleagues for betraying the trust and needs of those considerably less fortunate.

    I guess we will know soon enough whether McCain's coming back to help his colleagues save face on legislation that is soundly hated by the majority of Americans, or if he's coming back to give voice to the people of Arizona, who would be harmed by this - whichever one it is - bill.

    There's a part of me that knows that if he was planning to vote "no," he didn't need to travel across the country; I just hope he's not coming back to play the mortally wounded hero who "saves" America from the "17"-year long disaster of Obamacare.  

    It would be a shame if the legislative coda to McCain's career was a strident "wah-wah" of a "yes" vote, because ignominy will follow his name until the end of time.


    McCain (none / 0) (#58)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:07:23 PM EST
    has been pretty vocal about his feeling about the bill as it exists.  

    what he is doing, or might do, is return to support the motion to proceed so it can be debated.

    i agree with this.  IMO it absolutely should be debated.

    if he votes for the bill i will judge that separately.  debate is good.


    We'll find out how McCain (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:07:37 PM EST
    Is going to finish his stint on earth soon. Not everyone gets such a chance to write their own eulogy and start carving on their own headstone.

    Trump smears fellow Republicans on Twitter, threatens them during speeches, talks orgies with Boy Scouts. McCain has a once in a lifetime opportunity today. How will he spend it?


    and he was singled (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:11:31 PM EST
    out for a very specific kind of trashing by Trump early on.

    want to talk about betting?

    McCain will not be the vote that puts this pig of a bill over the line as it is.


    I have that dream (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:31:40 PM EST
    Heller and others are voting for this (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:34:13 PM EST
    I doubt McCain will be needed.  it should be debated.

    i think Cruz is smart (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:52:40 AM EST
    and crafty enough to turn that around on Donald if needed.

    I don't (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:01:34 AM EST
    Once again, everyone around Nixon went to jail. The President is insulated. Trump has already destroyed smarter people than Cruz.

    Trump (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:11:58 AM EST
    is absolutely not Nixon.  Nixon was a smart man.

    Hard to fathom he suffers any (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:18:57 PM EST
    Consequences Capt

    you mean Trump? (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:48:36 PM EST
    there would/will be consequences.

    ill take that bet.


    Well let's not let Armando outshine us (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:53:11 PM EST
    On betting

    I don't understand over/under. Might not be able to make THAT sort of structured bet. But let's wager. There is no other way to apply levity to this overwhelming horror show that I'm interested in.


    enlighten (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:54:26 PM EST
    i do not follow armando

    He's just a betting sort of pundit (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    and what is he betting on (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:01:15 PM EST
    if anything in this case?

    Dunno, but he seems to bet on everything (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:33:21 PM EST
    McCain just getting off the plane now

    Murkowski and Collins vote NO (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:35:43 PM EST
    McCain can nullify their effort. He's going to make a statement

    it would be awsum (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    if he flew in and voted no.

    but i dont expect that.  as i said it should be debated.  IMO stopping debate would be in its own way a victory for Mitch and crew.


    Heller and Paul are yes (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 01:42:39 PM EST
    that means it passes with Pence, right?

    Recess appointments bypass confirmation, (none / 0) (#27)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:52:59 AM EST
    I guess because they are temporary (although, if made in the first year of a 2-year session, could last a year or more. A lot of damage can be done in that time!).

    What a mess we are in.


    totally enough time (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:55:12 AM EST
    to fire Mueller.  as has been noted.  Trump lives in the moment.

    Glad I got my (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 09:39:49 AM EST
    passport during the Obama administration for sure. Although living in Mexico I'm not sure how we would make a living.

    Last week I was in MN visiting my cousin. These northern border states are full of stories of American refugees.


    He seems to believe (none / 0) (#15)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 08:13:31 AM EST
    that the AG is just another one of his personal attorneys and should be doing his bidding. He has no understanding of how the US government is organized or is supposed to function (it's not functioning now).

    The US Govt. hasn't been functioning... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:25:54 AM EST
    for quite sometime, unless you're one of them "corporate persons"...and we damn sure don't want it to start functioning now Chuck!  Maybe in 2018 or 2020 we can hope for restored function.

    I mean I know these are scary and embarrassing days, but one thing we have going for us right now is the total and utter civic incompetence of Cheeto and the GOP. Trump is the worst enemy of the radical right wing agenda.  We should probably thank him while we hate him, because if he was civically competent we'd be double-plus f*cked.


    i think i actually (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    agree with that

    His pen is ready... (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:43:27 AM EST
    and all he can do is scratch his lumpy arse with it right now.  This makes me happy.  

    How about the Texas Rep who (none / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 10:51:23 AM EST
    says he would like to "Aaron Burr" (shoot) some of his colleagues.

    And here I thought "we" needed to make an effort to tone down the violent, inflammatory rhetoric after the softball game shooting.

    no (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:13:04 AM EST
    what "we" need to do is not be "them"

    Is the Syrian Tragedy the Fault of the US? (none / 0) (#45)
    by RickyJim on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:21:29 AM EST
    I have found Eric Margolis pretty reliable and here is his take.
    Former President George W. Bush actively considered invading Syria around 2008 in collusion with Israel. But the Israelis then pointed out that there were no Western-friendly groups to replace Assad, only extreme militant Sunni Muslim groups. Even the usually reckless Bush called off the invasion of Syria.

    By contrast, Barack Obama gave a green light to the CIA to arm, train and logistically support anti-Assad jihadist rebels in Syria. Arms poured in from Lebanon and, later, Turkey, paid for by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates. Small numbers of US, British and French advisors went to Syria to teach the jihadists how to use mortars, explosives, and anti-tank weapons. The media's claim that the fighting in Syria was due to a spontaneous popular uprising was false. The repressive Assad government was widely unpopular but the uprising was another CIA `color-style' operation.

    Looks like the new (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:42:52 PM EST
    and improved Trumpcare will be repeal, a little,  replace, a little, and kick the mess over to a Senate/House committee.  There all the promises to get just that far can be jettisoned. But, they will have passed something.  Trump can tweet in peace, for a minute or two.

    Republicans are calling this the "skinny bill" which is apt in that McConnell and the lobbyists are the only ones who have the skinny on this bill.  The rest can only surmise...maybe just 16,000 kicked off insurance; premiums up 20 percent, and co-pays skyrocketing.  A reduction of some taxes on individuals and a big reduction on heath industrialists is a given.  Which means, cuts everywhere, and mostly, in all likelihood, for the poor and children by slashing Medicaid.

    deader (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:47:08 PM EST
    than Elvis